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SDK Develops Printable Conductive Inks for Electronics


October 1, 2012 - Tokyo

Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has developed printable silver nanowire ink for the manufacture of electronic devices jointly with Professor Katsuaki Suganuma of Osaka University. When the ink is used in combination with Photonic Curing(TM) process technology, highly stable, transparent conductive patterns can be formed on flexible films.

Silver nanowire ink can produce transparent conductive films with low sheet resistance (electrical resistance measured in thin film with uniform thickness). Thus, the ink is expected to replace indium tin oxide (ITO) transparent conductive film for touch screen applications. The problem with conventional silver nanowire ink is that the application of a printing process is difficult due to ink properties and heating at high temperatures and etching are necessary after coating of the ink on a substrate. This means that it is difficult to use the ink on plastic substrates with low resistance to heat and the fabrication process is complicated. However, SDK has succeeded in developing printable silver nanowire ink by improving the ink's properties and adhesion, enabling its use on plastic substrates. Furthermore, SDK has succeeded in instantly curing printed circuits and making them conductive by using Photonic Curing process technology provided by NovaCentrix, of the United States. As the conductive film based on silver nanowire ink does not require indium, a kind of rare metal used in ITO, there is no problem of natural resource restrictions.

SDK has also developed copper/silver hybrid ink. While silver ink is already used widely, it has a problem of high cost and substantial degree of migration (movement of metals on the surface of or inside a nonmetallic medium, resulting in short circuit). SDK's new hybrid ink is made by adding a small amount of silver nanoparticles to copper nanoparticles. When this ink is used in combination with Photonic Curing process technology, printed patterns provide high conductivity similar to that of silver-ink-based patterns despite the high copper content. At the same time, migration is restricted to a low level. The hybrid ink can be used as a low-cost substitute for conventional silver ink and paste.

Printed electronic - the technology to manufacture electronic circuits and devices through printing, using conductive ink, etc. - is expected to be increasingly used as it enables substantial simplification of manufacturing processes. To meet future market growth, SDK will continue development of silver nanowire ink for the production of transparent conductive film. As for the copper/silver hybrid ink, SDK will start sample shipments this month.

SDK will present the silver nanowire ink and copper/silver hybrid ink at Printed Electronics Asia 2012 to be held at Hilton Tokyo on October 2 and 3.

About Showa Denko

Showa Denko K.K. ('SDK'; TSE: 4004, US: SHWDF) is a major manufacturer and marketer of chemical products serving a wide range of fields ranging from heavy industry to the electronic and computer industries. SDK makes petrochemicals (ethylene, propylene), aluminum products (ingots, rods), electronic equipment (hard disks for computers) and inorganic materials (ceramics, carbons). The company has overseas operations and a joint venture with Netherlands-based Montell and Nippon Petrochemicals to make and market polypropylenes. In March 2001, SDK merged with Showa Denko Aluminum Corporation to strengthen the high-value-added fabricated aluminum products operations, and is today developing next-generation optical communications-use wafers. For more information, please visit www.sdk.co.jp .



Source: Showa Denko

Contact:

Showa Denko K.K. (SDK)
IR & PR Office
Tel: +81-3-5470-3235



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